Beloved Country Doctor, part 6


By Ralphine Major

He grew up on a farm in Grainger County, Tennessee.  He worked on the farm at Lincoln Memorial University while getting his college degree.  It is not surprising to learn that Dr. Alvis David Simmons never lost his love of the land and farming even after becoming a doctor.

“No matter how busy he was with his medical practice, he found time to develop a prize herd of registered Black Angus cattle on Mari-Ben Angus Farm,” daughter Sylvia Simmons Babelay said.  “He named the farm after his mother, Mary Idol, and his father, Benjamin Franklin Simmons.”  Many times I heard about those Black Angus cattle or some mention of the farm on a visit to the doctor.  I grew up on a dairy farm, so talk of farming did not seem out of the ordinary.

“He loved to hunt and fish as well,” Sylvia continued.  “We had a small lake on the farm and many of his friends came out to fish.  I do not know how the friendship came about, but I remember Dr. Andy Holt coming out several times to fish with him.  I always managed to be outside when they came into the back yard and talked a long time after fishing.  I loved hearing Dr. Holt’s accent!”  I recognized the name Sylvia shared.  Dr. Andrew Holt was one of the great University of Tennessee presidents.

How fascinating that these two great men forged a friendship through fishing.  Dr. Simmons and Dr. Holt, two outstanding men who left their mark in medicine and education.  (To be continued)


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